February-3rd

One of the biggest marketing challenges for companies is how to make brand messaging consistent across all platforms. Because companies specialize in what they do and not content marketing, they often resort to cutting and pasting the same copy for their newspaper ads, LinkedIn, website copy, email marketing and social media channels. The problem with this is that each of those platforms has a different audience that is consuming and expecting their content in different ways.

While your brand message should be consistent, the messaging, how you deliver it, should be tailored to the end consumer in a way that compels them to take action or increase their loyalty to your company.

How do you do this?

Determine your message
This sounds like a no-brainer but it is easy to spend time on the task of writing a message without putting strategy behind it. If you are developing a promotional campaign for a specific initiative then you are after “buy-in” from the consumer. If you are developing a new product then you are after an “action” from the end consumer.

These two results are different things. One is informative and one is persuasive. It is not enough to simply state who you are and what you do. You must also advise the reader or consumer about what they should do with the information that you have given to them.

Your message is a delicate balance of your brand (who you are) and the end-result that you are trying to achieve (what you want to consumer to do).

Choose your platforms
Once you craft the  message and determine the audiences that you want to target it is time to choose your platforms. Many companies waste time and money on blitz campaigns across all media and social media channels. You are better served targeting the specific platforms with what I like to call “qualified audiences” for your brand and message.

You get the biggest bang for your marketing dollars by focusing only on the audiences that are most likely to buy or consume your products or services. You do this by selecting the channels where your target audiences already consume content. Maybe you only want to use Facebook and create targeted campaigns or perhaps it makes sense to do print media and Instagram together or just YouTube.

You know your audience the best so spend some time investigating where your most qualified consumers spend their time.

Tailor your content
Now that you have crafted your message, determined where your audiences congregate and have identified your platforms, it is time to tailor your messaging. Keep in mind that all of these content channels exist because they allow consumers different ways to consume their content so you have to adapt your messaging to each specific platform that you use.

If you have a lot to say, you may want to do a published piece for LinkedIn where professionals consume more in-depth information. If you are targeting YouTube, you will want engaging and entertaining videos to demonstrate (and not just tell) about your product or service. If you are going after Twitter you will need to say the same thing but in a concise and compelling way.

Essentially what you are doing is taking your main message and morphing it into the delivery and consumption methods of each type of platform. Look at it like aspirin…you have the same medicine that can be delivered in tablets, gel caps, liquid, over-the-counter strength, prescription-strength and so on. Your message is aspirin being delivered in multiple ways for each platform.

Create a content calendar
Your message and messaging efforts only matter if you are consistent. You need only to look at a Twitter stream to see the frequency of which consumers are being bombarded with consistent content. In order to be effective with your messaging and marketing efforts across your desired platforms you need to develop a content calendar.

If this is all new to you, start small. Determine how often you will post (whether it is a blog post on your website, media ads or social media posting) and no matter what you decide is reasonable and realistic for you, make a calendar. I recommend once a month to start then increase your outreach to twice a month, weekly and eventually three times a week if you can do it.

Consistency matters to the consumer. Out of sight is out of mind and if you are serious about moving the needle and making your content work for you then creating a content calendar and sticking with it is essential.

Monitor and adapt
The effectiveness of your messaging only works if you are monitoring your progress. Are people responding and engaging or are you hearing crickets? If it is the latter then you need to tweak your messaging to make it more relevant to your target audiences.

You can do this in several ways. I recommend utilizing the analytics that are readily available for your website and social media platforms. You can see which posts have the most engagement and which ones fall flat. You can monitor the time of day when you see the most people reacting to your posts. Analyze what makes the popular posts more interesting then modify your methods and messaging.

Additionally, if you are noticing high traffic volume on one platform and not much on another then modify your targets and put your money and your time into the ones that are working.

If all of this is overwhelming and too much to tackle you can always hire a professional. Maybe you just need some consulting to help get your started or perhaps you need start-to-finish guidance and execution on developing a content calendar, writing and delivering consistent content. Drop me an email and let’s talk about how to improve your current content marketing strategy.